The Let's Play Archive

Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star

by ChorpSaway

Part 47: Episode 32: The Black and White Picture Book

Once upon a time, there lived a white dove and a black dove.

The white dove loved the sunflower.

The black dove loved the sunflower, too.
What a beautiful sunflower it was.
It was as warm and bright as the sun itself.
The sunflower would go out and play with the doves all day long.

But one day, the sunflower made friends with a star.
And after that, the sunflower always went out at night.
Without the sunflower, as bright as the sun, to light them, the days became dark.

The white dove knew how nice the night star was, and became sad, and more sad, and cried.

The black dove thought the night star should turn into a shooting star and go disappear somewhere far away.
Things would be better then.

But in the end, both doves froze in the darkness and died.
Poor doves.
Poor doves.

What did you think of it? Kawara Ryouta.

That doesn’t mean anything. How I feel doesn’t matter…
Looks like he’s more interested in talking to the king than to me. I guess I’m still just not charming enough.
The King said, that mourning dove is a bad, bad bird.
That mourning dove wants to steal something precious from The King. And from you.
You must know already. That the mourning dove is an evil, evil demon.
Nageki is a ghost, but he’s not evil… I guess he can be scary if you make a mess of the library books, but…

Because you can tell that your greatest treasure will be taken far, far away.
If you join The King, you will not be afraid of anything anymore. The evil demon will be gone, then.
The King is waiting for you.

After a lot of smarmy babbling, the king disappears.
I guess that now would be the time to make a proper entrance for Ryouta.
The music stops.

Salutations, o troubled young pigeon. Mind if I join you for a bit?
Oh… Yuuya!

Well, I wasn’t exactly invited. You know how it is.
I’m here to rescue you all. Blah, blah, blah, blah, please decide to bust out of here and come home with me as soon as possible.
I see… So we’re all in the same dream, after all.

Well, I’m certainly glad that he understood me so that I didn’t have to do the whole speech again.

By all indications, yes. The king there is the host and creator of this charade, and you’re all guests. And I’m crashing the party.
Everyone dreaming the same dream beneath the starry night sky… Very romantic. So, are you still caught up in this dream?
I don’t… I don’t know. I don’t know what I want anymore.

From what little I saw of the king’s solicitations I can guess pretty easily what he means. And I am a bit of a specialist in that area…

You know by now what it is that’s causing you pain, right?
…I… I haven’t done…
Talk to me, Ryouta. I’m here for you, and I can help you. What’s bothering you? What are you afraid of? Once you’ve put it into words, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.
That’s what I think, anyway. It’s why I talk so much all the time… Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?
At this rate, you’ll rot from the inside. Quite literally, at that. Be brave, Ryouta.
…I’m… I’m afraid of--

I always worry too much, and at first I thought this dream was just me being scared that someday she’ll leave me behind.
But I guess that’s not it. The Goon I saw here… is the real Goon…

His eyes flicker about nervously. What he says is true: even though this is a dream, Goon is acting of her own accord.

Goon has been with me ever since we were children.

But it won’t. It never would.
It was all… just my imagination. All of it.

His eyes glisten with tears.
Ah, how brightly his innocence shines to one as worldly and jaded as myself. He probably hasn’t even realized that what he’s feeling is love.

I took it all for granted. I thought it would last forever. But that’s not possible.
I know Goon better than anyone. I know what she loves, and what she hates. What she’s good at, and what she isn’t. I know everything about her.

And not just in this dream. She spends more time in the library every day.
If someday I stop being special to her…
For that matter, maybe I just thought I was special to her… All this time, to her, I’ve been nothing but…!

The music stops.

Well, well. What a pickle. If I’ve been reading the signs right, Nageki and Goon aren’t quite to the point where Ryouta should be worrying.
But his fears are going to get more and more likely by the day.
I need to pick my words carefully. How can I coax this young man’s heart back into the real world without breaking it?

The king said something to Ryouta about becoming one with him to avoid his pain. So if I say something wrong here, or I make too many assumptions, and Ryouta decides to stay on the Holiday Star…

Believe in Goon, Ryouta. You’re just jumping at shadows.
What do you mean?
They aren’t really a couple. I’ve had a thousand loves--I could tell at a glance.
I… would like to think that, but…

The music stops.

He looks just as troubled as before. Shoot. That wasn’t what was worrying him…

What I’m trying to say is, um… You’re clearly her favorite, Ryouta.

That’s a little harsh, isn’t it? Not that I can exactly explain myself now. It would take too long.
A casual, here today, gone tomorrow bird like you can’t even comprehend the depth of my relationship with Goon. We’ve been together… forever…
I know Goon better than anyone. And the same goes for her. She knows me better than anyone else in the entire world.

A horrible screech came from Ryouta--no, the king.

Everything around me went black. I could no longer see or feel anything around me. All that was left was--
The music stops.

The music stops.

I couldn’t take that sort of risk. Instead of assuming I understand Ryouta’s problems right now, I’ll have him tell me himself.

What exactly do you mean by “special”?
Something… irreplaceable? I don’t really understand myself.
But, at the very least…

So that’s it? What were you ever afraid of, then?
No one can ever be replaced, Ryouta. You will never stop being “special” to Goon, in that respect.
It’s as simple as that. You don’t think I’m trying to fool you or anything, do you?
That’s… true, I guess, but that’s not it. I’m scared that I just won’t be with her as much any--
Of course not. You can’t stay children forever.
Feel like writing me off as a heartless bastard yet? But ignoring me won’t change anything. Time will pass, and places will change.

No matter how fair the flower, it will rot and fall to pieces if you never let it go.
But memories will never hurt you. The flower withers, the star falls, and the rainbow fades away, but you will always remember their beauty.
Are you telling me to… go on alone, with nothing but my memories…?
That’s a little pessimistic! What I’m saying is… don’t let your fears for tomorrow cloud the memories you’re making today.
…That’s too abstract for me. I don’t think I understand.

How long is he going to keep floundering around? I’ll have to be a little more clear.

Maybe you’ll be an unrequited lover, or maybe you’ll live and have a family with Goon, or maybe you’ll go your own separate ways.
But whatever happens, all the time you’ve spent with her, all the joy you’ve had, will still be yours.

How could I live without the sun, now that I’m so used to its warmth and light? I’m scared, Yuuya! I don’t want to see everything I know collapse around me!

This is pretty bad. I’d been taking him for a quiet metrosexual, but maybe he’s really into the whole total monopolization thing?
And as far as I can tell, Miss Goon herself hasn’t got the slightest idea all this is going on. What a sinfully negligent lady!

Everything changes, Ryouta. Time is like that--inconvenient and rude to everyone.
Even if you stand still, everything else will leave you behind. No matter how hard you try to prevent change, it will still come. The world, and your friends, will still change.
If what you really want is undisturbed peace for the rest of your days you’ll have to cut all your ties, leave everyone behind, and become a hermit in the mountains.
No… I don’t want that!
I didn’t think you did. Are you planning to ask someone else to stay with you, then?

So you think it would be selfish? Aren’t you wishing someone would do that for you, just a little bit, deep inside?
…I don’t know. Maybe I am.
Or maybe you aren’t.

There are things that scare even me, yes. Even a hero of justice has his weaknesses.
What’s waiting for me at the other end of this night? The best day of my life? Or the very worst?
No one knows. And that’s why--
That’s why all we, who cannot see tomorrow, can do is put on our bravest smiles and march boldly into the new day.
Isn’t that called bluffing?
Hahaha, I suppose it is. All this time I’ve just been trying to look cool so no one will realize what’s going on inside. But what’s wrong with putting on a little show?

The music stops.

It seemed that, even just a little bit, I had been able to help Ryouta overcome his fears. We appeared in a room rather familiar to me at this point.
And so I made my final attack.

I have a question for you. There are only two choices. We’re running a little low on time, you see.
Kawara Ryouta. What do you want to do?
You could accept the king’s invitation and stay here. Nageki would be removed. You would spend eternity celebrating the endless holiday with Goon, and tomorrow would never come. Nothing would change, and nothing would hurt you ever again.
Or, you could refuse the king’s invitation and return to the real world. Your relationship with Goon will change, sooner or later, for better or worse. And a new day will come.
Now, choose. I won’t try to force you either way. You alone can decide what your salvation will be.

And in any case it won’t do us any good unless he decides to break free himself.